The UE Department of Physical Education was organized almost simultaneously with the Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration (PCCBA), the nucleus of the University.
The Department started with Ms. Maggie Shea as a part-time instructor. Ms. Shea then left for abroad on a Fulbright grant. Upon her return two years later, after obtaining a graduate degree in physical education, she was appointed as UE’s Assistant PE Director. In this capacity, she has been primarily responsible for developing the physical education curriculum to its present state and, with the encouragement of Dean Gabriel Mañalac of the College of Education, she introduced physical education as a major field.
The directorship changed hands in 1949, with Mr. Pedro Villanueva replacing Mr. Cristobal, and later on, in 1964, when the incumbent director Mr. Virgilio Dalupan took over upon the retirement of Mr. Villanueva.
While credit for the development of the curriculum goes to Ms. Shea, Dir. Dalupan is credited with having worked for the standardization of the instructors’ salaries and for the improvement of the PE facilities. From an old gymnasium-auditorium which housed the PE classes, the Department moved to a five-storey building at a cost of P1.0 million. The ground floor provides classrooms for health classes and a dance studio. The third and fourth floors house the PE classes for women, while the second and fifth floors house the PE classes for men.
The Department, at present, services an average of 20,000 students every semester.
UE has long made a name for itself in sports.
The UE men’s basketball team got its first UAAP championship title in 1956, with Mr. Dalupan as coach. The crowning glory of the team came in 1963 when UE won the El Oro Trophy by winning the UAAP basketball championship for three consecutive years. From then on, the University has won in most athletic competitions.
In 1953, Ms. Shea initiated the organization of the UE Dance Troupe with the end in view of propagating Philippine culture through dance. The Troupe has gone to Formosa as an ambassador of goodwill. Mrs. Corazon Iñigo was later appointed UE Dance Troupe director in 1967. The Troupe performed during the Philippine Day at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, on the invitation of then First Lady Imelda Marcos.